MoviePass announces shutdown
NEW YORK CITY — MoviePass, once a revolutionary ticketing service, is temporarily shutting down on Saturday and it’s unclear if it will return.
MoviePass’ CEO Mitch Lowe posted a letter on the service’s website Friday that said “at this point, we are unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue.”
Helios and Matheson, the parent company of MoviePass, announced that it would be interrupting the service on Saturday. Helios and Matheson’s efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have “not been successful to date,” the company said in a press release on Friday.
“The Company is unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue,” Helios and Matheson said in the statement. “The Company is continuing its efforts to seek financing to fund its operations.There can be no assurance that any such financing will be obtained or available on terms acceptable to the Committee.”
MoviePass sent shock waves through Hollywood in the summer of 2017 when it dropped its monthly subscription fee to $10 a month, which allowed users to see one movie a day. After that, the service grew rapidly to 3 million subscribers in less than a year.
From the start, the surprisingly low subscription fee and surging subscriber base prompted many in the film industry to wonder how sustainable MoviePass’ business model actually was.
Helios and Matheson issued a dire warning in April of 2018 about the company’s ability to stay in business. MoviePass eventually raised its prices and began to limit access to blockbuster movies. In December, the company announced that it was changing its prices once again, this time adopting a tiered plan.
All of MoviePass’ issues —from film restrictions to a glitchy mobile app — led to a subscriber exodus (Business Insider reported in April that the service had about 225,000 subscribers). Helios and Matheson’s stock took a major hit as a result, dipping to as low as 2 cents.
MoviePass then confirmed last month that a security issue may have exposed customers’ records.
Despite the service’s potential demise, it has arguably changed the theater-going experience. Subscription services similar to MoviePass in spirit, but not in price, have popped at major movie chains such as AMC and Regal.
“Although we do not currently know what the future holds for the MoviePass service, we hope to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future,” Lowe wrote on Friday.